Energy retailer AGL is expanding its electric vehicle subscription service to Adelaide, focusing initially on MG EVs before adding Tesla, Hyundai, Nissan and Kia EV models to its list later this year.
The expansion to Adelaide follows the launch of the service in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane over the past year, and is giving South Australians the opportunity to take the wheel of an EV without committing to ownership.
The AGL EV service offers a weekly subscription that ranges from around $235 a week for the MG and from $340 a week to the Tesla Model 3.
Some commentators suggest that those weekly subscriptions seem steep, given the total cost of ownership of those EVs, but AGL says the service is proving popular with people who want to “try before they buy”, or whose lifestyle or circumstances lend itself to a subscription model rather than full ownership.
The subscriptions come in three months, six months and 12 month terms. AGL says it has had more than 1,000 expressions of interest in the program to date “and a strong take up.”
It says about 40 per cent of requests are for the Tesla Model 3, with the MG and Hyundai Ioniq the next most popular.
John Chambers, the head of future business and technology at AGL, says South Australia – whose power grid is more than 60 per cent sourced from wind and solar – is an attractive place for the EV market.
“As a state generated largely by renewable sources, we know South Australians are embracing new technologies and developments that support a cleaner energy future,” he said.
“With plans for the SA Government to increase the uptake of EVs and smart charging by 2025, we believe now is a great time for customers to test the benefits of EVs.”
South Australia has announced plans for a $3,000 rebate for the purchase of new EVs, following in the footsteps of NSW and Victoria, but is also still mulling a controversial road user tax for EVs. It is also investing heavily in creating electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
“Our service provides choice and flexibility with customers able to swap, upgrade or cancel at any time, while also including registration, insurance, tyres, repairs, roadside assistance, optional installation of an EV charger and carbon neutral credits as part of the subscription,” Chambers said.
“We want to see all Australians driving their way to a more sustainable future and by doing so creating a better, cleaner tomorrow for us all.”
AGL is the dominance energy player in the state, thanks to its legacy gas generators and wind farm investments, but has recently invested in the Barker Inlet fast-start power stations, and is building a 250MW/250MWh big battery at its Torrens Island facility, adding to the contract it has to operate the Dalrymple North battery on the Yorke Peninsular.
Meanwhile, AGL’s electric vehicle lead for the past seven years, Kristian Handberg, has announced he has left the company to take up a role as head of future mobility at petrol refiner and retailer Viva Energy, where he will focus on low carbon fuels.
Viva also operates the Shell/Coles retail network, so EV charging stations may be making an appearance there some time soon, as they have in Shell petrol stations overseas.
Last year, AGL signed up to EV100, committing to transition all its light vehicle fleet and at least half of its medium-to-heavy vehicle fleet to electric by 2030